South Africa recorded 2 828 new cases of COVID-19 in the last 24 hours, the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) has said on Friday.
THE TOTAL NUMBER OF CONFIRMED CASES TO DATE?
This brings the total number of laboratory-confirmed cases to 2 955 328.
This increase of 2 828 new COVID-19 cases represents a 9.1% positivity rate.
A further 12 COVID-19 related deaths have been reported, bringing total fatalities to 89 783 to date.
“The cumulative number of recoveries is 2 845 607.”
The majority of new cases is in Gauteng: 2 173, followed by the Western Cape with 139 new cases, the North West with 116 new cases provinces and KwaZulu-Natal with 108 new cases.
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19 348 954 tests have been conducted in both the public and private sectors.
NICD: Vaccines likely to still offer protection against B.1.1.529 variant
The (NICD) said based on their understanding of the mutations in the B.1.1.529 lineage, partial immune escape is likely, but it is likely that vaccines will still offer high levels of protection against hospitalisation and death.
“SARS-CoV-2, like all viruses, changes with time, with mutations that afford the virus some kind of advantage being selected for in recent infections.
“While some of the mutations in the B.1.1.529 lineage have arisen in other SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern or variants of interest, we are being cautious about the implications while we gather more data to understand this lineage,” it said.
The NICD said work was already underway to look at the immune escape potential of B.1.1.529 in the laboratory setting.
“We are also establishing a real-time system to monitor hospitalisation and outcome associated with B.1.1.529. We expect new variants to continue to emerge wherever the virus is spreading.”
VACCINATION REMAINS CRITICAL
The NICD stressed that vaccination remains critical to protecting those in communities at high risk of hospitalisation and death, to reduce strain on the health system, and to help slow transmission.